Legal & Regulatory
India’s federal government released an updated and consolidated policy for foreign investors on August 28, relaxing old barriers and providing more regulatory clarity – with immediate effect.
Startups and single brand retail companies are among key beneficiaries of the changes in this year’s foreign direct investment (FDI) policy.
The new FDI policy also outlines procedures for foreign investors looking at sectors that were previously regulated by the now defunct Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
Funds can be repatriated from one country to another in various ways. The obvious implications are that such transactions entail foreign exchange risks, and companies also need to account for regulatory and tax risks.
Investors and companies should, therefore, note that choosing the right strategy to repatriate funds can reduce their tax burden and increase net profit. In turn, such cost savings make it possible for reinvesting in innovation and improving the productivity of the business.
This risk-reward calculus becomes more complex in India, which has a unique business environment.
First introduced in the lower house of parliament as the Companies Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in March of last year, the Bill seeks to make important changes to the Companies Act of 2013 in relation to the structuring, disclosure, and compliance requirements for companies.
After incorporating feedback from the Standing Committee on Finance, the respective government chambers of commerce and industry, as well as professional bodies, the draft bill was finally approved by the lower house as the Companies Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 on July 27, 2017.
Companies (Incorporation) Amendment Rules, 2017 Announced
The government announced new rules that will amend the Companies (lncorporation) Rules, 2014. These will come into effect once they are published in the official gazette.
Two changes have been made, by way of substituting Rule 28 and Rule 30 in the existing framework of the Companies (lncorporation) Rules. These regulate the shifting of a company’s registered office within the same state (Rule 28) and shifting of a company’s registered office from one state or union territory to another (Rule 30).
The new rules are notified on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website, with an official circular dated July 27, 2017.
By Vasundhara Rastogi
In June, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notified significant policy changes regarding the issuance of ‘masala bonds’, bringing them in alignment with the other elements of the External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs) framework.
Masala bonds are a popular debt-financing instrument used by Indian entities to raise funds in the overseas market.
Invoice upload utility on GSTN portal from July 24
Businesses registered on the Goods and Services Network (GSTN) portal will be able to upload their invoices starting July 24. GSTN serves as the information technology platform that administers the GST regime. Once the portal launches the facility, businesses can upload their invoices on a weekly or daily basis – if they wish to avoid the month-end rush.
The GST kicked in on July 1, in a major reform of the indirect taxation system in India. Under the new regime, businesses need to generate invoices for transactions above US$3.11 (Rs 200) and maintain these invoice records in serial number – if they want to claim input tax credit (ITC).
Previously, the GSTN portal introduced an offline MS Excel format for businesses to record their invoices; now these can soon be uploaded.
By Dezan Shira & Associates
Startups in India will now benefit from more relaxations under the Companies Act, 2013 – a move that will reduce compliance requirements and allow for operational flexibility. These are in addition to exemptions announced in June 2015.
NCLAT issues clarifications under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) recently clarified what constitutes the ‘’existence of a dispute” under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
As per the Apellate Tribunal, the term ‘dispute’ includes proceedings initiated or pending before consumer courts, tribunals, labor courts, or subject to mediation or conciliation.